No more pipelines, it’s time for renewables: Green Party

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks with media at Press Conference in Thunder Bay

MONTREAL — Green Party leader Elizabeth May today reaffirmed the party’s pledge to cancel the $13 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and redirect the funds to implementing a National Grid Strategy that will transmit cheap, clean, renewable energy from coast to coast to coast.

The grid strategy would include a transition plan as well as design and management principles for rapid transformation of the existing electrical distribution system into a high efficiency nationally integrated electrical power grid capable of efficiently transporting high electrical loads and accommodating many diverse sources of renewable electrical energy.

“This is a national unity project on the scale of the completion of the trans-Canada railroad in the 19th century,” said Ms. May. “It will bring all Canadians together as the country’s undertakes a rapid transformation from fossil fuels to an economy driven by clean, renewable energy.”

Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer hitting the campaign trail
Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer hitting the campaign trail

Thunder Bay-Superior North Green Party candidate Bruce Hyer states, “The creation of an east-west national energy grid is an important one to the Green Party for many reasons. For Canada to effectively move away from fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources, there needs to be a national strategy to connect all parts of the country on the same energy grid. At the same time, the energy grid needs to be ready for the renewable, green energy it will carry. At present, there IS NO national energy strategy, unlike virtually all other developed countries.”

“The development, redevelopment and expansion of this grid will also create many transitional jobs for oil-field workers,” added Hyer. “Provinces lacking access to clean energy will be able to purchase it cheaply and easily, and the national energy grid will reduce the amount of energy going to the United States.”
Hyer concluded, “67 per cent of Canada’s electricity comes from renewable resources — 82 per cent of it coming from non-GHG emitting sources. We can do this!”

Ms. May said that expanding and refurbishing the national electricity grid is a cornerstone of the Green Party’s Mission: Possible – a detailed climate action plan to achieve a 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050.

“These targets are not optional, they are the reductions needed to restrict the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C, the level beyond which we risk runaway global warming and the extinction of millions of species, perhaps including our own.”

Ms. May said that Quebec’s hydropower surplus, currently being sold to U.S. power utilities,  could be an important piece in the diverse mix of renewable energy sources that will feed the new national grid. The national grid strategy will include building connections between Manitoba and western Ontario and upgrading connections between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Green Party believes that exporting Québec’s clean hydroelectricity to other Canadian provinces is a much better plan than having Québec export Alberta and BC fossil fuels by the GNL Québec natural gas pipeline.

“Canada is fortunate to have vast renewable energy resources and a sparse population,” said Ms. May. “This makes a fully renewable electricity system much easier to achieve here than in most other countries. For Canada’s particular challenges, investing in improvements in our east-west electricity grid will pay big dividends.”

The Mission: Possible climate blueprint calls for all Canada’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, including getting remote and northern communities off diesel generators.